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NSC 2012: Measuring and Strengthening Your Safety Culture

Source: http://ehstoday.com

By Laura Walter

Is your safety culture reactive, dependent, independent or interdependent? In an Oct. 22 NSC session, Rosanne Danner, managing director of global productivity at DuPont, outlined these different culture types and discussed how to measure and strengthen safety culture.

In a lively, interaction session at the 2012 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Orlando, Fla., Rosanne Danner of DuPont Sustainable Solutions explained to attendees how they could positively influence their safety culture and progress from a reactive to an interdependent culture.

“Yes, world-class [safety] is achievable,” Danner, managing director, global productivity at DuPont told NSC attendees. World-class safety, she continued, is possible one person, one site and one organization at a time.

Each session attendee received a polling device the size of a small calculator to input answers to several questions Danner posed throughout the session. The audience members were first tasked to key in which definition they believed applied to “culture.” The answer? Culture represents mindsets, values and beliefs, Danner said.

Culture develops one individual at a time – but the catch is that when an individual joins a group, he or she may behave in a different way based on the collective culture of that group. Within your company, you may witness a work group culture, a site culture and a corporate culture; each may be distinct even if they are apart of the larger organization.

According to Danner, EHS professionals should understand culture to:

  • Develop a better path for transforming the culture within a work group or organization;
  • Understand what drives the behaviors of the team in different environments circumstances; and
  • Help leaders understand what it takes to break through a plateau.